My toddler has been eating almond butter on toast for 2-3 meals a day for the last week, so when my dog pulled the last few pieces of bread from the counter and ate them while we were out, I took this opportunity to get back into bread-baking, gently.
Gently, I say, because I opted for super-easy. I didn't particularly feel like baking bread. I wanted (and we needed) bread for toast, but making yeast bread, even a simple recipe, didn't fit into our schedule. Since I planned to feed this to Amelia (and myself) multiple times a day, the bread needed to be healthy (whole wheat).
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This whole wheat molasses bread was adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and was exactly what I wanted. It's a soda bread with a little extra. You simply mix a handful of ingredients, plop the batter into a loaf pan, and bake it. No kneading, no waiting for dough to rise.
The bread has a dense crumb, more like a banana bread than a traditional loaf of sandwich bread. I could easily cut it thinly with a bread knife, and the slices were perfect for toast with peanut butter or almond butter. This bread is sweet from the molasses, but the molasses flavor wasn't overwhelming. This was a great, faster alternative to making sandwich bread, but it has more moisture than sandwich bread, so eat it within a few days of baking.
This quick and easy bread is perfect for toasting.
- 1 ½ cups milk plus 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or 1 ⅔ cup buttermilk or yogurt)
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup molasses
If using milk and vinegar, combine the two and let it stand while you gather the other ingredients. (It will curdle.)
Combine whole wheat flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Add molasses to the milk and stir well. Pour the molasses milk into the dry ingredients and mix until there are no dry clumps of flour. Scrape batter into a greased 8x4 inch or 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 325F for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. My 9x5 loaf was done when I first checked it at 50 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on cooling rack.
adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything